Thursday, August 31, 2017

Picture of the Week - 8/31/2017

Hi all!

I'm totally celebrating today!  Today should be a holiday.  It's finally the start of College football season AND Spencer plays his first official high school football game tonight with the rest of the freshmen team against Milton.  I'm ridiculously excited to watch him (even if I will also be more than a little nervous about that shoulder...) and then we get to come home and watch the Buckeyes.  Holiday worthy for sure!!!

Here's our annual O H I O picture of the boys.  Love these!  (The pictures AND the boys!!!)

Here's another picture from Jiu Jitsu this week.  Zane earned his first stripe this week.  He was so excited.  It still surprises Bob and I about how much they love JJ.  We really thought it would just be a way to spend the summer, but those guys really love going.  It's adorable - and they are learning a ton!

Have a great week everyone!  Go West!  Go Buckeyes!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Picture of the Week - 8/24/2017

Hi all

I'm still in Scotland and working my way successfully through back-to-back (almost without break) meetings for the last 3.5 days.  I've got about half a day left in the office and then one more night before I get to head back home.  I'm really looking forward to calling that cab to the airport tomorrow morning!

I thought I'd keep the words at a minimum today (mostly because I have almost no time for personal stuff this week...) and share some pictures.  The first couple are of my boys from my mom.  She and my dad have chipped in to help Bob get through the last couple of weeks and I love when she texts me little reminders of what's waiting for me at home!

I also thought I'd share a few pictures from my walk to work.  No famous buildings here...  just what the city of Edinburgh looks like.  I like that particular roundabout because the center has a whole garden in the middle.  And I assure you that not all streets are cobblestone, but there are quite a lot of them around the city.  That makes me glad that I don't wear heels!

The last 2 pictures are of my office building - it's the one with the big glass dome.  I don't work in an old, historic building.  It's much more modern.  Lots of glass and open spaces.  It's actually a pretty cool office...

Hope you are all well!  This weekend the little boys both play their first football game!  And Spencer has his first freshman game on Thursday night.  Yay football!!!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Picture of the Week - 8/17/2017

Growth is spurt-y...

Have you ever noticed that growth comes in spurts?  I think this is true of most growth, but I'm certainly not an expert.  I know physical growth comes in spurts.  For me, spiritual growth comes in spurts too.  And learning.  Definitely learning.  

We happen to be in the middle of a giant growth spurt right now.  It's probably the biggest and swiftest expansion in our personal network that has happened in a long, long time.  Maybe ever.  Certainly since we move to a new state and were forced to meet all new people.  

We are building our number of acquaintances at a very rapid pace right now - all thanks to youth sports.  We have 4 new teams of people to meet, get to know, get to like, get to enjoy.  I LOVE that about athletics.  LOVE IT! 

Youth sports can bring out the crazy in some people, but for the vast majority of us, we just enjoy watching our kids and socializing on the sidelines.  And when you have 4 kids, you get the benefits of sports-related friendships - times 4.  

Beckett is being coached by Zane's football coach from last year.  So we know some of those people, but we also get to meet half a team full of new families and kids.  And Beckett gets the benefit of some of the kids knowing him already and instantly accepting him - even though he's one of only a couple of Kindergartners on his team.  

There are about 9 kids on Zane's team we've played with before.  This is pretty cool because this is the 3rd year together for most of that group.  It's so comforting, particularly given how many people live in our area and how fast the pace is for everyone these days, that we instantly have those friendly faces.  That benefit of shared experience.  That community.

Speaking of community, there's Quinn.  Lacrosse is kind of like a second home for all of us.  Over the past few months, because of an increase in involvement in the youth program AND because of a new high schooler, we have gotten linked up with the high school coaches.  We are starting to get to know these men who will be a part of our lives for the next 15 years.  (Unless of course someone moves on...)  This is the entry point to a long term relationship.  And it's pretty cool.  And then the rest of our lacrosse family.  Goodness - what good people and what good friends.  There's almost no distinction any more between our "lacrosse people" and "our people".  LOVE THAT!

Spencer's move to high school has changed our network in some pretty surprising ways.  Although looking back at it a little, I'm not really sure why I'm surprised at all.  I should have expected this.  We have 2 different middle schools that combine into our high school.  These kids were rivals last season - they are teammates now.  It's actually really, really cool to see how easy it's been for them to shed the rivalry and link together.  Spencer, in particular, has pleasantly surprised me with his ability to be a bridge between "camps".  This is YET ANOTHER one of those "kid teaches parent" things were we have dove into new relationships with people we've been around, but not with, for 9 years.  

Sports bring people together.  

Last Friday was the first high school scrimmage of the year.  It was the first time Spencer got to play in a high school game under Friday night lights.  He won't get another opportunity until at least next year.  It was so much fun!  I can't even count how many people we ran into that I would call friends.  It was like a giant party - with a nice side-dish of football.  So much fun!

Tomorrow i'm heading over to Scotland for the week.  I'm not very excited about it at all.  I miss so much while I'm gone.  I purposely scheduled this quarter's trip so I wouldn't miss any games, but I will miss all the daily chaos.  And the hugs.  Definitely the hugs.  

Here're some pictures of the little guys in there new jerseys.  They are numbers #23 and #44 this year.  Super random.  Don't you love their game faces???

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Picture of the Week - 8/10/2017

I'm officially naming this season of my life the "Post-it Note" Phase.  

There are a couple of reasons that I've settled on the PIN Phase.  The first one is probably pretty obvious...  I'm surrounded by Post-it Notes!  These gems have a wide variety of super random To Dos on them.  Most are at least partially crossed off, but typically have some straggler tasks that i drag around from one note to the next.  You know those pesky tasks that you want to do - or know you need to do - but then have a hard time actually DOING.  Like "Order pictures" which has appeared on every Post-it Note To Do list for the last 6 months.  #winning

The thing about the reminder notes is that I really REALLY need them these days.  The stuff that needs to get done is spread across work, kids, home, school, volunteer, sports, shopping, etc etc etc.  We all have this.  I'm not unique.  Post-it reminders are the only way for me to focus in on what should get done in the brief periods of time available to actually DO STUFF.  I got to work early today.  Like 6:20...  no one was here.  No meetings this early.  Blissfully quiet.  I spent 15 minutes buying Amazon Pantry Items.  Job done - knocked 3 things off our shopping list and one off my green Post-it Note.  

(Side note for anyone with small kids...  it's hard to keep up with toiletries and their status of Full-to-Empty when you have teenagers who do all those tasks themselves.  Also - teenagers don't tell you they need stuff until the stuff is completely gone.  It's fun.)

Nice Post-it Note benefit...  I have had to prep several meetings/conferences for work in the past.  One of my favorite things to do with a group of participants to get them talking is to make them write on Post-it Notes with Sharpies.  I mean, really, who doesn't love a fresh Sharpie?  And if I can get them writing on Post-it Notes (which we always actually POST in a central spot) it's a great conversation starter.  This has left me with a vast array of half-used, multi-colored Post-it Note pads.  This is particularly nice in my current PIN Phase because sometimes I feel like a blue note and sometimes I feel more pink.  Using the standard yellow all the time might be depressing.  LOL

The other, and actually more significant, reason for my desire to name this craziness that we call our "routine" the Post-it Note Phase is that I can probably fit the details of 95% of the conversations and interactions I have with the people I love most onto a standard-sized Post-it Note.  I hardly see these people.  It's only week 2 of school and I'm already depressed about the loss of those interactions.  I feel we are barely communicating - much less actually connecting.  We pass each other heading in different directions.  We do hugs or cuddles or high fives.  That's pretty much it.  

Bob and I are doing divide-and-conquer almost every day.  Sometimes we get a Saturday afternoon together.  Or the ride to church and back.  There are things we need to talk about.  Stuff that needs to be decided.  (Nothing bad at all...  just normal stuff - you know, should we rebuild the deck?  when do you want to buy new carpet?  who is picking up which kid?  do we need an inspire pick-up?  do we have any lunchmeat left? HAVE YOU FOUND  THE SNAKE?)  We communicate in text messages and Post-it Note sized tidbits of conversation.  It sucks.  I'm not a fan of our current schedule.  At all.  

So PIN Phase...  I shall survive you, but I am not enjoying this right now.  Maybe if I can figure out a way to get the To Do list Post-it notes down to the mini-size and the connection Post-it notes up to the 3x5 size...  #lifegoals

Here's a sweet pictures of Zane before his face broke out in a nasty infection last week.  He picked up something from either camp or his football helmet.  I think whatever it was came from the helmet because it was only on his face.  He's totally fine now (or nearly) after some antibiotics.  

Have a good week everyone.  We get to watch Spencer play in his first high school football scrimmage tomorrow night.  Next week fall lacrosse starts up.  Wish us logistical luck...  it's gonna be interesting!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Picture of the Week - 8/3/2017

It's back to school day!

Now that we've loaded 3 of the 4 up onto big yellow buses (Quinn doesn't leave until 8:20), I'm actually really excited for this year.  SO MUCH CHANGE all at once is a little intimidating, but after today (or maybe it'll take a few days...) it won't be change any more.  This is our new normal!  

I can't wait to see how all these boys grow this year.  It's going to be a fun, wild ride!  Thanks for taking it with us!!!

Here's our obligatory Back to School picture.  I thought I'd get fancy and take it with an actual camera - which clearly has something wrong with it as the pictures were all blurry and very disappointing.  Ah well...  that's real life for you.  Next time I'll just take the easy route and use my phone!

Spencer is a Freshman, Quinn is 8th grade, Zane is 2nd grade, and Beckett is in Kindergarten.  Wow!